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Happy New Year: Week 17, Bears at Vikings Pre-Party Open Thread

First off, a very Happy New Year to you and yours.

Today's game features two teams that might be grateful it's a new year. The Bears closed out 2011 on a five-game losing streak, while the Vikings have been bad bordering on miserable the entire season. An individual win in this season might not do much for the current NFL standings (as both teams are out of the playoff chase), but it'll feel good to close out the year with a win.

The Bears season's downfall is well documented, between the injuries to Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, subsequent events of the Hanie Escapades, Tebowing and the Broncos' defense, and culminating in a recent trip to Lambeau that officially finished off the thread that was the Bears' playoff chances. They'll look to finish the season on a high note as they take on a Vikings team that will be starting Christian Ponder today, but will be without their biggest playmaker in Adrian Peterson.

Gameday related linkage and other stuffs after the jump.

The ESPNChicago preview and the Sun-Times preview, for your additional previewing pleasure.

The Bears had a rough end to 2011, but should be in fine shape for 2012.

Josh McCown might have a future as a coach.

Matt Bowen talks game-techie to us, and we like it.

McCown no stranger to dunking, proves perhaps white men can jump. Also, discusses why he didn't cut it in the NFL before.

Dave Toub says Corey Graham's Pro-Bowl nod is overdue. Also fails to return library book on time.

Brad Biggs looks at four offseason questions.

Marshawn Lynch got fined 10K for his Skittles Shoes. Somewhere, Earl Bennett is nodding as DJ Moore and Jay Cutler rub their neck and shoulder/arm, respectively.

Benny Sapp was charged with fifth degree assault and reckless driving at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.

Gameday procedures for today, the first game thread will pop at game time, with each quarter showing up as appropriate. Recap will be up shortly after, as will the late game thread and night game thread as those games begin.

So unfortunately for the final time in the 2011-2012 season... Bear Down!!

Chicago Bears Fight Song (via scifiradioguy)